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SLC Report on Review of Contract Law 29/03/2018 The Scottish Law Commission has published its Report on Review of Contract Law: Formation, Interpretation, Remedies for Breach, and Penalty Clauses

SLC Report on Review of Contract Law

The Scottish Law Commission has published its Report on Review of Contract Law: Formation, Interpretation, Remedies for Breach, and Penalty Clauses, making many recommendations for improvement.

The purpose of the review was to ensure that contract law is clear, accessible and fit for the modern age. It concluded that some parts of contract law are unclear, sometimes difficult to find and in need of modernisation.

In particular, the Commission recommends:

  • There should be a new statutory statement setting out the rules on formation of contract. This will make clear key points such as when communications between people making contracts take effect (this is important when so much business is now done by email);
  • Abolition of the “postal acceptance rule” (an old rule that a contract is formed when an acceptance of an offer is put in the post, as opposed to received). This dates from the nineteenth century when post was the main means of communication. The rule is out of step with modern business;
  • Remedies for breach of contract should be reshaped. The idea is to improve ways of encouraging people to sort out disputes themselves, rather than ending up in court or having to terminate their contract altogether.

“I believe that when implemented this Report will do much to remove current uncertainties as well as simplifying and modernising the law,” said Professor Hector MacQueen, who has been the lead Commissioner on this project. “It will also make the law on formation of contract more accessible than ever before to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.”

The Report can be found here.

 

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